Pediatric hospital medicine fellowship

Exterior of the Helen DeVos Children's HospitalSpectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine logo

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Spectrum Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Our work to keep kids healthy places us among U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospitals. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked in seven pediatric subspecialties and has also made a national name for itself in the world of pediatric quality improvement and patient safety. We are located Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the most enjoyable and fastest growing cities in the Midwest.

The fellowship offers complete clinical, educational and scholarly programs in our state-of-the-art, freestanding children’s hospital. We hope the following information is helpful to you and thank you for considering us for your fellowship training. If you are an internal medicine/pediatrics resident, we can offer you time as an adult hospitalist during your fellowship elective time. Several of our hospitalists are internal medicine/pediatrics trained and continue to work in the adult world. Please do not hesitate to inquire more about this!

From the Program Director

Congratulations on choosing to pursue a fellowship in the wonderful world of pediatric hospital medicine! As you think about what is important to you in a fellowship, we would like to highlight a few reasons the program at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital might be just what you are looking for:

  • Our daily commitment to fellowship educational and programmatic excellence
  • The strong QI and patient safety initiatives that drive patient care
  • Our incredible institutional and programmatic work to reduce power gradients and nurture the culture of collegial teamwork with colleagues who feel more like family members


Our fellowship program was one of only four in the U.S. to receive initial certification by the ACGME in January of 2020. As a fellow here, you will receive a robust didactic curriculum in research, QI, Patient Safety, Process Improvement and all pediatric hospital medicine core content topics. Our pediatrics and internal medicine/pediatrics residencies have a total of 24 residents/year along with two child neurology residents/year in their first two years. This affords fellows great team leadership, mentorship and teaching opportunities. We have 16 specialized fellowship electives for you to choose from, we continue to add more each year based on our fellows’ interests! We are affiliated with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, which provides regular medical student teaching and mentorship opportunities. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has been in the U.S. News and World Report Top 50 for multiple successive years, including 2021-2022, and has over 300 pediatric physicians in 50 different specialties. Finally, our hospitalist faculty group is 20 members strong including two nurse practitioners, with diverse clinical and research interests.

QI/patient safety/process improvement

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s vision is to be the one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation and we currently rank second in Michigan and #11 in the midwest. This drive for excellence has created a significant culture around quality/process improvement and patient safety. Our fellows have been integrated into this culture, and in only three years of our fellowship, they have made meaningful impact within our hospital system and community while also being recognized on both the state and national level. These projects include improvement around interpretation services, addiction medicine and neurosurgical co-management. We are also lucky to have the Spectrum Health Director of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety be one of our pediatric hospital medicine partners, so we have easy access to QI and patient safety education along with mentorship for QI projects!


Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is the home of the “Call Me Bob” campaign, whereby all staff are encouraged to call each other by our first names. This has reduced the power gradient and sense of hierarchy that exists in many health care settings. It allows for better teamwork, more collaboration and a sense that work is a great place to be. We have robust initiatives in wellness and diversity that exist not just in the fellowship and across the institution as well. If you were a fly on the wall here on any day, you would see the sense of joy, cohesion, energy and fun that exists in our group, the fellowship program and the hospital. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is a great place to be!

Finally, while some of you have likely never visited Grand Rapids, we completely love our city. It truly is a “hidden gem”, and the numbers support our opinions: Grand Rapids’ 2020 national rankings include #1 for Top 7 Places to Visit in 2020, #1 for Best Cities for First-time Home Buyers, #2 for Top Housing Market for Millennials, #7 for the Top 10 Places for Millennials to Live, #9 for Most Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2020-2021 and #21 for Top 100 Places to Live in the US! 

We look forward to meeting you virtually and sharing all that our fellowship, hospital and city have to offer!

Brett Leingang, MD, and Jeri Kessenich, MD

From the Senior Fellows

Pediatric Hospital Medicine Senior Fellows

In this letter, senior fellows Lee Morris, MD, and Nick Beam, MD, share why they chose to do their pediatric hospital medicine fellowship at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Lee Morris MD, and Nick Beam, MD


Except for the community hospital medicine rotation, all fellowship training occurs at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a 240 bed freestanding children’s hospital with more than 9,100 inpatient, 2,200 pediatric intensive care and 1,400 neonatal intensive care admissions and more than 56,000 pediatric emergency department visits annually. Spectrum Health is home to 33 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs in partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Read our program aims.

Fellowship rotational curriculum

Year one:

  • Four blocks hospital medicine at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Four blocks scholarly activity/research
  • Four blocks electives
  • One block community hospital medicine at either Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, MI or Munson Hospital in Traverse City, MI (housing cost during this block is provided if needed)
  • Four weeks for vacation/conference

Year two:

  • Three blocks hospital medicine at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Four blocks scholarly activity/research
  • Four blocks electives
  • One block newborn/NICU
  • One block sedation
  • Four weeks for vacation/conference


The electives offered include:

  • Infectious disease with antibiotic stewardship
  • Pediatric emergency medicine
  • Palliative care/pain management
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonology
  • Toxicology
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Genetics and metabolism
  • Global health
  • Hospital administration and leadership
  • Pediatric physical medicine & rehabilitation
  • The business of medicine
  • Inpatient child psychiatry
  • Addiction medicine
  • Transport medicine
  • The option to design your own elective


We are passionate about your learning, and have in place a well-rounded approach to education, both clinically and via the following didactic series:

  • Core fellow research, QI and process improvement
  • Hospital fellow-specific series based on the PHM Content Outline, given by the hospitalist section
  • Hospitalist fellowship journal club (monthly)
  • Hospitalist fellowship ethics presentations (quarterly)
  • Weekly grand rounds
  • Weekly multidisciplinary case conference

Fellows as teachers

  • Completion of a two-day clinical teacher program with a half day follow-up
  • Development and oversight of monthly simulation sessions with residents and medical students
  • Leaders in the intern lecture series
  • Formal teaching in the undergraduate medical education curriculum at MSU College of Human Medicine
  • Bedside teaching of residents and medical students

Scholarly activity

Fellows must complete and present at least one major scholarly project in patient quality/safety. In practice, our fellows are involved in multiple scholarly projects during their two years here, including clinical research and additional quality work. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has a commitment to excellence regarding patient safety, so our fellow’s QI projects are very well respected and welcomed. In addition, fellows have great research oversight and mentorship by one of our core faculty members, including our partner who chairs the scholarly oversight committee who has a tremendous amount of experience in research. Many members of the Spectrum Health hospitalist group are involved in scholarly work, so there is no shortage of ideas or mentors for you!

Examples of current and past fellow scholarly projects include:

  • AAP VIP Network – HIFLO National QI Initiative
  • Project “Baby Deer” – health care outcomes after inpatient implementation of rapid whole genome sequencing
  • Reducing Microaggressions in the Workplace
  • Survey sent to PHM fellowship directors on what parts of an applicant’s application are valued higher than others
  • Health care Outcomes after Neonatal Fever Clinical Practice Change
  • Med/Ed project using phone call simulation with residents
  • Pediatric Hospitalist Co-Management of Neurosurgery Patients
  • I-STOP Process for Floor Patients
  • Trend in Marijuana Exposure in Newborns Before and After Recreational Legalization in Michigan
  • Development of Education Around Opioid Use in Children and Adolescents
  • Lost in Translation: Overcoming Language Barriers by Partnering with Language Services
  • Project DRIVE: Decreasing Redundant and Irrelevant Vitals Everyday
  • Critical Care Billing for Hospitalists

Life as a fellow

Fellow wellness

Part of wellness involves being empowered to have a voice in the running of the fellowship, and that is hugely important in our program. Your opinion will be sought out on all aspects of your fellowship experience, with the commitment of continuous quality improvement by all of us at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital! In addition, there is an enormous focus on resident/fellow wellness at Spectrum Health, and fellows can be involved via participation in the many events throughout the year, or as leaders, including resident/fellow wellness committee, diversity council and housestaff council. Fellows also have access to Encompass, an employee assistance program which offers a variety of assessment and counseling services, provided free of charge.


You will love the overall culture at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, which is warm and welcoming, and we also work to pair you with mentors who act as advisors, coaches and guides during your fellowship and beyond. In addition, our hospitalist group is committed to celebrating life outside the hospital, too, and we have regular get-togethers that you’ll love being a part of.

Application requirements

Pediatric hospital medicine fellowships participate in the NRMP match, but not ERAS. There is a common fellowship application used by all programs that you send to programs you are interested in applying to. 2021 Pediatric hospital medicine fellowship application timeline:

  • July 21, 2021: Application review and interview invites begin!
  • September 22, 2021: NRMP Match opens
  • October 27, 2021: Rank Order Entry List opens
  • December 1, 2021: Rank Order List Certification due
  • December 15, 2021: Match Day, 12:00 PM EST

For more information on our program, contact Andrea Prins, program coordinator.

Salary and benefits

Spectrum Health provides a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package for our residents, staff and their families. In addition, our program provides educational monies to support your ongoing education. Download our salary and benefits document to learn more.

Program Director

Associate Program Director

Core Faculty

Class of 2024

Justin Steele, MD
Justin Steele, MD

Internal Medicine & Pediatrics: University of Illinois College—Peoria

Van Don Williams II, MD
Van Don Williams II, MD

Pediatrics: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Justin Steele, MD
Justin Steele, MD

Internal Medicine & Pediatrics: University of Illinois College—Peoria

Van Don Williams II, MD
Van Don Williams II, MD

Pediatrics: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Class of 2023

Nick Beam, MD
Nick Beam, MD

Pediatrics: Western Michigan University

Lee Morris, MD
Lee Morris, MD

Pediatrics: Geisinger Medical Center

Nick Beam, MD
Nick Beam, MD

Pediatrics: Western Michigan University

Lee Morris, MD
Lee Morris, MD

Pediatrics: Geisinger Medical Center

Ready to Apply?

We participate in the National Resident Matching Program and use the Electronic Residency Application Service.